As the only non-fee paying all-girls’ multi-faith school across the city and county, it offers a unique educational opportunity for the girls of Leicester.
We spoke to the Principal of Sir Jonathan North College, Rose Angus, to find out why sending your daughter to an all-girls’ school could open up a world of opportunities.
With the school easily accessed off the Welford Road in the suburb of Knighton, Sir Jonathan North has increasingly welcomed girls from further across the city and county in recent years, while still remaining a strong local choice. This wider catchment has added a rich cultural diversity to the school’s population, giving each girl the broad experience that some parents may fear is lost in a single-sex school. At Sir Jonathan North all faiths and cultures are celebrated and 55 languages are spoken, meaning the school is truly reflective of Leicester’s wonderful diversity.
“Being a ‘one-of-a-kind’ school in the city, we are fortunate to attract girls from across Leicester, allowing us to reap the benefits of such diversity and weave this into our girls’ education,” opened Principal, Rose Angus. “Some parents choose our school for their daughter because they are seeking an all-girls’ education, others because it is their preferred local choice and many because we are recognised as outstanding and our results are high.”
With its outstanding status and impressive results, you may wonder what the school’s magic formula is for such high achievements?
“At Sir Jonathan North we develop the whole child, ensuring that we not only teach and motivate each person to be the very best that they can be academically, but we pay equal importance to holistic development and the personal characteristics that are needed in today’s society,” said College Principal, Rose Angus, who continued: “Every girl at Sir Jonathan North has the opportunity to become a leader, whether that be as a student councillor, Literacy, Numeracy or Sports leader or captain of a team. This helps our students to develop confidence, learn how to inspire others, shoulder responsibility and consider risks, which are all great skills that are needed beyond their education. These characteristics support academic success too.”
As reported by the Girls’ School Association, in a school without boys, the environment allows girls to feel confident, raise their hand to answer a question, have a go at different sports and minimise the stereotyped gender expectations. When boys are not present, there is no such thing as a typical girl’s or boy’s subject – a statement supported by the Institute of Physics who reported that students who attended an all-girls’ school were significantly more likely to study physics to A-level than girls in co-educational schools.
Academic achievement is often high on a parent’s agenda when choosing a school too and exam results consistently confirm that girls taught in single-sex schools outperform those at co-educational schools. According to a SchoolDash report based on Department for Education data, girls at single-sex state schools gained significantly better GCSE results than those at mixed schools. Sir Jonathan North girls certainly follow this trend. Data from the last set of exams taken in 2019 puts Sir Jonathan North in the top 20% of schools nationally. Progress 8 is a score that looks at the progress made in eight key subject areas, with the average for all schools being 0. Sir Jonathan North has been well above average for the last four years, and in 2019 achieved a Progress 8 score of 0.34.
With the school part of Leicestershire’s Lionheart Academies Trust, founded by Beauchamp College in Oadby, Sir Jonathan North also benefits from a central curriculum that is developed by subject specialists, which in turn enhances every student’s academic education. As a parent, choosing the right education for your child can be a daunting decision. However, choosing a school whose motto is ‘Where girls learn without limits’ coupled with awards galore and academic achievements, it surely has to be worth a visit to find out more?
To register for the next open day, or to book a visit, get in touch with the school via the website at www.sirjonathannorth.org.uk